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      Trip Report - Isolation on Clearwater Lake     

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nojobro
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08/26/2009 09:25AM
New Trip Report posted by nojobro

Trip Name: Isolation on Clearwater Lake.

Entry Point: 84

Click Here to View Trip Report wc-20090801-1632
 
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rlhedlund
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08/26/2009 11:10AM
That's a great long detailed report. Lots of good pictures too. It's going to take me a day or two to finish the report. Thanks.
onajourney
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08/26/2009 11:15AM
I loved your trip report and your reflections and thoughts while you were there. It is difficult having a special needs child and it sounds like you are terrific parents. I am glad you had some alone time in God's wilderness to celebrate your anniversary. Thanks for sharing.
rlhedlund
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08/26/2009 11:24AM
Hey - I recognize that tyvek anywhere.
nojobro
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08/26/2009 11:25AM
Yes, it is long...sorry. ;-)
nojobro
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08/26/2009 11:26AM
Speaking of the Tyvek, we loved it. We ended up setting it up the long way because we also needed a wind break. Not sure if that makes sense, but our piece was long enough to put down one side and then across the top. We left it pretty long. We tried washing it to minimize the noise but it was too big for our washer and one corner got torn up. Oops. We also washed our tent liner one, and it's silent and soft now, but kind of wrinkled up and it shrunk a bit. I find mostly that the tarp doesn't make noise, unless there's a huge wind or you're putting it up. Worked very well and our trip would have been absolute misery without it.
alpine525
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08/26/2009 12:38PM
I really enjoyed reading your trip report - it sounds like you overcame some obstacles, but still had a good trip. Here's wishing you many more years of paddling the BW!
Bog
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08/26/2009 01:39PM
I love trip reports. I know I've said that before! Every trip is different.

nojobro, thanks for the insights and your thoughts. We have two kids that have had surgeries and extra needs at times. We are going in September and I need a break from everyday life. I love how the bwca sets my mind right again!!
nojobro
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08/26/2009 01:50PM
I do kind of feel like the only person on here who didn't like the complete isolation bit, though I know I can't be the only one. ;-) And BTW, I have already ordered a new rain jacket. LOL
photonanax2
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08/26/2009 01:53PM
Nojo - I loved reading your report. You faced some challenges and came home stronger and found something more inside of you. Thank you for sharing some of your deeper, more intimate reflections of both your trip and your life.
camp-n-scrap
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08/26/2009 08:07PM
Wow . . .fantastic report. Thank you for sharing your insights. I love it that your husband said the best thing you guys made was your girls.

Ready to start planning your next trip now? ;-)
GrampaMike
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08/27/2009 09:04AM
Wow is right.....very nice report. Here's wishing you and your family many happy returns. Cheers!

Bog
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08/27/2009 10:55AM
The isolation bit definitely makes me feel different. In October '99 trip my wife and I took into Rose Lake, we were all alone. Then saw a mouse. Then a fox. My wife spent the night waiting for the next step up on the food chain. The isolation was exhilarating to me!

But this past year I took a solo trip (down here in NW Iowa along a river...I know, not the same!). One night I started hearing every single noise and probably some that weren't out there. I now know what my wife was experiencing.

Still, that 'feeling' I got made me want to take a solo trip in the bwca...
EPFD217
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08/27/2009 04:53PM
Fantastic report. I and my group passed you and your husband on the way out. We were the group of 7 guys with 3 canoes. We passed on your first portage/ our last portage of the snake river.

If I had known I would have talked more. Glad you guys had a safe trip. My wife loves coming to the BWCA and this was her first year not going with me. She was very jealous.
nojobro
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08/28/2009 08:06AM
EPFD...y'all looked so young to me I'm surprised you're old enough to be married. LOL. Looked at your profile...guess you aren't really that much younger than me (8 years). Which canoe were you in? I think I really only saw the guys in the first one, the one with 3 people. How was your trip?
bojibob
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08/28/2009 09:21AM
Nice report. Love the food pics...it looks like you ate well.
08/28/2009 10:56AM
Great report. This has given me some ideas for food!Great pics.

ILikePike
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08/28/2009 04:20PM
great report! i think the 2 campsites you stayed on was the area where we did decent night fishing one night. the shore between camp 1730 and camp 1729. were those the ones we stayed at.

we day tripped to turtle from BE so we couldnt stop and eat all the blueberries we saw and there were alot. i also remember stopping and taking a closer look at the ravine/crevice on the portage. it did have quite a bit of water in it. ahh a mosquito breeding ground!!

i kinda wished i would have checked out the only good site on turtle. i just wanted to fish and catch the big one.

do you have a picture of that bear grylls shelter?
EPFD217
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08/28/2009 05:10PM
I was in that first canoe with the 3guys. I was the one in the bow with the camo daypack and the green hat. Our trip was very nice. We had perfect weather the first two days with great fishing. We faced some serious wind on monday and tuesday, but its all part of the adventure. I hope to put a trip report up soon. I slept in my hammock 2 of the nights and I think I've found a new hobby.

Andy
nojobro
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08/28/2009 08:48PM
ILikePike, why yes, I do:



Thanks for leaving us some berries. ;-)
08/29/2009 05:07PM
Very nice! I can empathize with your vulnerable feeling when you are far from other people. You know if something happens that you are in big trouble. I had this feeling on Raven Lake this year but was too tired to worry too much.

Next time bring the girls! I think you'll have a blast with them. Thanks for posting.
Beemer01
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08/29/2009 09:32PM
Very nice report, you have some memorable pictures here!

Thanks for taking the time to share with us.
gbusk
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08/30/2009 07:59AM
Your photos made me hungry! I need to go and find something to eat now.
WhiteWolf
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09/04/2009 11:21PM
It's funny how the isolation works. Months of planning to get rid of people. Excitement bulids to the dippin' your paddle. and in a matter of hours-- those long months of wanting to get away are gone.
I think that's part of it.
The 3 solo trips I have been on,, when I have started getting the hibbie jibbies' it's nearly always becasue I'am not doing anything.
You really have to trust yourself/ and choices you make to go,,, but in my mind,, you have to keep busy to thwart off the hibbie jibbies. Layover days are not a good thing, especially in bad weather which allows negative thoughts to race. Waking up on Lake Agnes alone, 30 mph winds at 3am and needing to get to a meeting place to meet another party in 6 hours, tests you mind. But it's GOOD for you.
Nighttime can be challenging,, but at least in the summer, the nights are quite short. Solo in the winter,,, maybe one night-- just too much night.
interesting reading about what others think about isolation.
good report.
WhiteWolf

09/05/2009 10:13PM
WONDERFUL trip report! Thanks! Ditto all the nice things said in previous replies.

I especially like that you included a photo of your girls. It seemed to close the loop, since your report had me feeling like I know you and John, at least somewhat.

Also, I understand your feelings about vulnerability and isolation. I've done only two BWCA trips, first with my son a year ago, and another last May, solo. My third will start Sept. 9 and last 10 days - also solo. I've done quite a bit of solo tripping and camping in other places over the years, and even now it takes a little while to settle into the mindset of being careful, using good skills, and letting go. I've seen a few hazards and they've taught me both humility and confidence.

For what it's worth, sitting up in your tent at 3 a.m. during a thunderstorm utterly terrified is completely normal.
nojobro
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10/22/2009 03:44PM
Thanks for all the comments. I find I am still learning things from having taken this trip, and reading insightful comments has added to that.

Can't wait to go back! ;-)
BWPaddler
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08/18/2010 03:26PM
Oh Nola, thanks for that report - the honesty and reflection touched me. I could so relate to the part about "healing" and "fixing" and I appreciate your sharing those thoughts.

I love the "peanuts" episode too and am sure you two chuckle whenever you get a chance for peanuts in the shell by the campfire!
lars54
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08/19/2010 06:44PM
I really liked your trip report, it was very well written
08/19/2010 08:34PM
Excellant report! I loved all the pictures....especially the one of the unique tarp....way cool! Thanks ;-)
SevenofNine
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08/20/2010 12:52PM
Just reread your report and I have this to offer. You mentioned that you were cold even though you had 6 layers of clothing on. I would suggest that you probably were exhausted from your portaging and your body needed fuel (food). I have encountered similar situations where I just can't seem to get warm no matter how much I am wearing. Some good calorie food in me and I'm warm again.

Thanks for a nice trip report, great pictures and lovely insights. Like I said I reread your trip because it was a nice read.

Best
Mongo65
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08/20/2010 06:20PM
Thank you for sharing your trip. I enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures.
AndySG
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08/21/2010 05:40PM
Very good report. You covered so much; rough portages, meals, camp sites, rain and wind problems, feelings of vulnerability, an anniversary, your kids, etc. I feel like I've known you for years. Thanks for sharing.
SunCatcher
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08/21/2010 08:50PM
Nola and John,
WOW Happy belated anniversary!!
Always count your peanuts :)

I loved the report and think you should be a dietician Nola.
Your meal prep makes my instant oatmeal and cocoa and scnapps look bad.

Hope to meet you sometime John. Take care of those girls!
SunCatcher
bruceye
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09/04/2010 08:48AM
Nojobro; This is my first entry in this section of the Forum. Neither is it an accident that yours is the the first report I've read from begining to end but just gleaning from some of your posts, that you are an exellent wordsmith and conveyer of thoughts.

A while back I discussed with a friend how much more enjoyable these trips would be if we could do them without the proverbial 'clouds of darkness' that hang over our heads. It is without fail and to varying degrees that each of us will have to carry a 'torture stake' to the ends of this system of things. It is not a test for anyone leveled on us by a creator who gets his jollies seeing us anguish, but only an incidental to the current conditions that we live under. Right about now you're thinking, 'OMG it's another rant from one of those religio-kooks trying to get me to go to his church! Believe me when I tell you, I am as far removed from that lot as a person could possibly be. I have in fact come to learn through investigative honesty and inquiry that something much better is in store for those who maintain their integrity and diligently seek the truth. Process of elimination and historical track record tells us it will not come from the mainstream. Mt.7:13,14.

Ok, 'nuffothat, I really enjoyed that report Nola, have you ever considered a career in some branch of literary communication? i.e columnist, author, teacher? Keep that good stuff comin' kid!

You and your family will be in my prayers.
paddlefamily
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09/06/2010 05:08PM
nojobro-

What a meaningful trip. A long time coming. I appreciated your honesty about the insight you gained on the BE-Turtle portage. Good to have clarity and a step towards resolution, even if it didn't come about the way you expected.

Thanks for sharing.
09/27/2010 11:43PM
Nola,

I'd read this report a while back and found it well-written and insightful. On second read I particularly noted your comments about being broken open and becoming something better. I understood it the first time, but it really resonates with me now, as I'm adjusting to being single again.

Thanks,
Dave
Basspro69
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10/03/2010 12:14AM
That was a great trip report, you guys are a very special couple and Im glad you were able to get away to the BWCA .
ChazzTheGnome
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10/06/2010 10:07AM
great report. sounds like you guys really get a lot out of that trip.
11/14/2010 03:08PM
My reaction upon reading the first few paragraphs of this report was how clear, honest, and interesting your writing is. Then, after completing the report and reading the comments, I noticed many other people noticed this too. Sharing your fears in the middle of the night, on an uninhabited lake, far from other people and your children was poignant, but, as others have commented, not unique. I believe all of us have felt this way one time or another in this setting. Nevertheless, you described it well.

There are other aspects to your writing besides your willingness to share your fears, that makes it appealing. Your desire to bring the reader into your perceptions of everything around you is very enticing, and several comments noted that you make us feel as if we're your friends. A nice touch. Congratulations. I hope to read more of what you have to tell us.

Not to down-play your ability, I'm pleasantly surprised at the quality of the writing skills that a number of people exhibit in these reports. I'm fairly new to this site, so I'm pretty impressed.

My heart sank when you mentioned your rain gear being not up to snuff. That is probably the one piece of equipment that's most important in the wilderness. If you're wet you are going to be miserable and maybe in danger.

Anyway, thanks for a great report. I enjoyed it along with all these other people who have commented.
nojobro
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11/17/2010 08:05AM
Wow, I am surprised and honored that this report keeps getting brought back up. I admit I've dreamed of becoming a writer sometimes, but at the same time, I don't a) have time at the moment and b) really need to feel something to write like that.

One thing about the feeling like friends thing that has been mentioned...I feel that way about this site, whether I'm actually friends with a particular individual or not, so I am sure that came through in the writing.

Anyway....thank you all for reading and commenting. It does mean a lot to me.
11/17/2010 12:22PM
quote nojobro: "Wow, I am surprised and honored that this report keeps getting brought back up. I admit I've dreamed of becoming a writer sometimes, but at the same time, I don't a) have time at the moment and b) really need to feel something to write like that."

Um, Nola, you're an editor, write? ... er ... right? That means you're already a writer, since you're rewriting everything that comes your way. Your concern may have to do with originality (not the same as creativity). It may also have to do with being so occupied with life in general - can you say "kids"? - that you don't have room yet for your own words. It'll come. Just pay attention and take notes. :-)
 
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